The Mystery of Edna: Belchior’s Widow Disappeared as MPB Genius

MPB’s biggest secret is not Roberto Carlos’ childhood accident. MPB’s biggest secret isn’t where the deck of cards that João Gilberto passed for him to Elba Ramalho under his hotel room door has gone. MPB’s biggest secret is not the cause of Gal Costa’s death. MPB’s biggest secret is not Ivete Sangalo’s political stance. MPB’s biggest secret is Edna.

Edna Assunção de Araújo, 55, is brunette, has curly hair, is about 1.60 m tall, and has not been seen or heard from in public for over five years. Why should she? She is now the widow of the singer Belchior, of which I wrote the book “Belchior — Just a Latin American boy” (However, 2017). In the period in which the artist disappeared from the public eye, from 2007 to 2017 – until he was found dead of an aortic aneurysm at the age of 70, on April 30, 2017, in Santa Cruz do Sul (RS )—, Edna accompanied him.

Edna upon her husband’s awakening: according to some, the widow would have kept an unpublished register of Belchior

Image: Jarbas Oliveira/Folhapress

“Owner” of unreleased album?

It saw him play shows for a lucky audience of two, accompanied the production of an unprecedented and mysterious album that many swear was “better than ‘Alucinação’ (1976 album, 16th on MPB’s 500 Best Albums list, according to a survey by 2022 by the Discotheque Básica podcast), attended concerts by other artists unknown in the audience, watched her husband draw for an already legendary personal translation of Dante Alighieri’s “A Divina Comédia,” and slept under a flyover with the immortal author of “Apenas a Latin American boy”.

After Belchior’s death, Edna was present at funeral rites and funerals in tribute to her companion in Fortaleza e Sobral, Ceará, birthplace of the bard MPB. She even spoke to a crowded theater. From that moment on, the whereabouts of Edna di San Paolo became an impenetrable secret.

The widow of Belchior - Bruno Alencastro/UOL - Bruno Alencastro/UOL

The couple, in November 2012, in the lobby of the Sheraton hotel in Porto Alegre: ‘double isolation’

Image: Bruno Alencastro/UOL

disinterest in inheritance

For Belchior’s heirs, this disappearance became a big problem: for the sharing of the artist’s assets and the management of his inheritance, the disappearance of the widow made things terribly complicated. Incommunicado, Edna was excluded from the inventory in 2019, due to the difficulty of the Justice in quoting her (“Considering the negative outcomes for the summons of the widow, I nominate, for the position of executor, Camila Henman Belchior”, he specified the judge, in reference to one of the singer’s daughters).

In September 2022, three years after the start of the inventory and still without news of the widow, Belchior’s family (his three daughters, Camila, Isabella and Vanick and his son, Mikael) filed a request for subpoena in the only three addresses had contacts, all in São Paulo. However, none of the addresses indicated is active (the signaling of the form I went through them all).

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The Brazilian ‘Bob Dylan’, in a photo from 1979, when the album ‘Era uma Vez um Homem e Seu Tempo’ was released

Image: Disclosure

the widow’s sister

Last year, a more substantial lead emerged: the address of a fashion boutique in the south of São Paulo that would belong to Edna’s sisters, Hélia and Eda. The three, very close, would certainly still keep in touch. After confirming the connection and existence of the boutique, the service attempted to establish communication this week:

– Good morning. Are you Helia?

– I can help. Who am I talking to?

— I am Jotabê Medeiros, reporter, journalist. I’m here to ask about your sister, Edna.

— I don’t know you, I have nothing to say, honestly. How did you get to me?

“Well, I’m a reporter, right? Let me ask you: Is Edna alive?

— [Silêncio]. I have nothing to tell you. I have seen many things you wrote and I disagree with nothing. It’s your point of view, it’s what you think. If I were a serious journalist, I would research and try to know the truth before writing.

– I looked for. But they never received me. The people who might say, “Look, I dispute what you wrote,” those people didn’t give their version.

“I appreciate your visit, but with all due respect, please excuse me.

The widow of Belchior - Jotabê Medeiros/UOL - Jotabê Medeiros/UOL

Edna with surgeon Russen Conrado, author of a book about the idol

Image: Jotabê Medeiros/UOL

documentaries and books

This was the closest the world of Edna got to the outside world in half a decade. Soon, however, unpublished information about the Edna & Belchior saga could open up, through the films, records and books that are about to be released. The most imminent release is that of the documentary “Procurando Belchior”, directed by Eduardo Albergaria (with screenplay by Daniel Dias, Leonardo Edde and the director himself, whose premiere on Canal Brasil is expected in the second half). The film traces the couple’s journey through Uruguay and Rio Grande do Sul during their decade-long self-exile.

The result might surprise many people who have a ready and well-honed idea of ​​what Edna would have represented to the life and work of the bard of Sobral. “The film seeks a gaze that opposes the idea of ​​people who judge quickly, a symptom of the disease that afflicts Brazil. Many have not understood or heard Belchior well. It is these gaps, these cracks and these encounters that we need to shed light on. But , now, with the ‘belchior camera’, portraying the street, the walls, what he saw and heard and what the people there saw and heard”, says Albergaria. During the investigation, the film team discovered never-before-seen images, collected valuable testimonies and promised to show the foggy story from a new angle.

During Edna’s time at Melchior’s side, she was known as “Edna Prometheus”, a curious allusion to Aeschylus’ Greek classic, “Prometheus Bound”. The play deals with a curse: after stealing fire from Zeus to give it to men, Prometheus is punished by the god and chained to a rock, condemned to remain there for all eternity.

The widow of Belchior - UH/ Folhapress Collection - UH/ Folhapress Collection

In the misogynistic version of the nickname ‘Edna Prometheus’, Belchiorre would have been chained to her, as in the Greek myth

Image: UH Collection / Folhapress

Character of the Greek tragedy

For fans of Belchior, who generally call themselves “belchianes”, the code name of Edna allows for a double interpretation: the rock would be Belchior himself, a very powerful gravitational force; or, in the most misogynistic version, who was chained to the rock, and remained there for all eternity, was Belchior (Edna, evidently, would be the rock).

Paranoid, overprotective, intelligent, irascible, tough, sweet, ferocious, welcoming, capable of mistreating animals and playing hidden in the Mega Sena, preventing her husband from playing, manipulative, cultured, prophetess, saleswoman: in recent years, the multifaceted portrait and Legend surrounding Edna has outgrown dough with organic yeast. It has already been recorded that she suffers from panic syndrome, that she is a daimist or a follower of the União do Vegetal (UDV) religion.

It is possible to notice, without effort, that a significant part of the reactions of distrust or prejudice towards Belchior’s widow is the fact that she, as a romantic couple, does not fit the classic stereotype of the seductive woman. What is certain is that there are more people who are hurt by her than people who miss her.

The widow of Belchior - UH/ Folhapress Collection - UH/ Folhapress Collection

Without access to Belchior’s inheritance or music production rights, how would the widow have survived?

Image: UH Collection / Folhapress

Calculation or sincere love?

His approximation with Belchior, for part of the singer’s family, would have been the result of a decision, of a meticulous calculation. In 2006, Edna worked on the production of a collective show in Fortaleza. You took care of the artists staying at the Caesar Park hotel in the capital of Ceará, transport and other arrangements. “Jorge Mello, your taxi has arrived! You can go and I’ll take care of the paperwork at the hotel,” said one of Belchior’s partners and former partner, singer and songwriter Jorge Mello, recalling when he first saw her turn.

During this period Edna worked as curator for an artists’ collective at the Hotel Grand Marquise, in Fortaleza, but everyone didn’t miss her: “I can’t say anything about this woman, because my contact with her was very fast and I confess that my saint did not correspond to his”, says the painter and sculptor from Ceará, Mano Alencar.

Plastic surgeon Russen Moreira Conrado, of Fortaleza, son-in-law of one of the singer’s brothers, Nilson Belchior, shared a half-hour conversation with Edna on the day of the funeral, May 1, 2017. In his book “Belchior — O Silence do Amor”, published a year later, writes: “Perhaps there was in her a certain desire to disappear from space, while they were feeding [Edna e Belchior] double insulation.”

For many people, Edna’s sense of responsibility for Belchior’s fate is something that remains strong even after so much time has passed. “What would anyone think for ten years who managed to isolate from the world a genius of song, a man of culture and knowledge out of the ordinary?” asked Russen.

CP active

Edna’s research is due to many factors, from the unburied paragraph to professional vanity, from judicial to aesthetic vanity, after all a producer, art dealer, tourist assistant and manager of a pro-Palestinian NGO (the activities she carried out outside during the life can turn out to be disparate, according to sources) confessed to the interlocutors carrying with him, in a suitcase, the latest production of one of the biggest names in MPB. This possibility keeps the interest around her figure alive, as well as the romantic atmosphere of her crazy trajectory alongside Belchior.

The thing is, Edna left no trace. The amazement she causes is: how would she survive? Without access to Belchior’s music production resources, without the “instant Airbnb” network provided by the singer’s fans in the country, how do you keep up? In that half decade he did not ask for a pension, did not appeal to the Auxílio Brasil, did not declare income tax, did not sell or buy anything, nor opened or closed companies.

“Is Edna alive?” Edna’s sister, Hélia, answered that one question she allowed herself to ask with a hint of a smile. If the readers allow the journalist a little impressionism, and using without the component of sarcasm an expression that the failed Bolsonarismo has made popular, it is clear and certain that Edna’s CPF remains active.

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